Callanish Walk

Callanish, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, HS2 9DY


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Callanish at sunrise

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Image: Mo Thomson

Make your way to the west side of Lewis to discover the iconic Callanish Standing Stones (Calanais I). Along this walk you will also discover the Cnoc Ceann a’ Gharraidh standing stones (Calanais II) and Cnoc Fhillibhir standing stones (Calanais III).   From the visitor car park, follow the coast road, turning right along the A858 for a short distance, then divert south along a cul-de-sac to visit the first satellite circle, Calanais II (Cnoc Ceann a’ Garraidh), with magnificent views of the main site at Calanais (Calanais I) and of East Loch Roag. Then turn left, and head for Calanais III (Cnoc Fhillibhir Bheag). From this stone circle continue on the path to the A858 and return towards the Calanais Visitor Centre car park. Before reaching it, detour up the steep lane to the main monument. Follow the path around the stones, returning to the car park via Cnoc an Tursa.

The circles on the walk are only part of a number of  standing stones and burial tombs, forming one of the most remarkable concentrations in the British Isles. This probably begun about 3000 BC with the building of the Calanais I standing stones, while the satellite sites may be slightly later. The whole complex had been abandoned by 800 BC. As Neolithic farmers had been living in the area for 1,000 years before they started to raise the stones, there may have been around 150 generations of people living here, continuously farming the land, worshipping, and developing this ritual landscape.

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